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Welcome to the Soft Structure Lab

The Soft Structure Lab at the University of Michigan is focused on polymeric gels, gelation, and functional deployment. We are interested in gels that are form by by both precipitation and polymerization, We use a range of tools and microscopy to study structural organization and mechanical performance of gels, particularly linked with water management. Our interests lie in controlled release, as well as biomass derived and synthetic polymer recycling,

Research Projects

Our Current Focus

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Therapeutic controlled release

Micelle based therapeutics dissolution for local release.

We are using amphiphilic copolymer polyethers as structures that self assemble around body temperature.  We have probed release of antibiotics and antimicrobials, chemotherapeutics, and other probiotics, embedded in these structures.  We have an NIH proposal in review and a large review paper coming out

Adsorption-mediated micro plastics collection in municipal wastewater 

an NSF sponsored Emerging Frontiers Program

We are developing adhesives that are attractive to microplastics based on hydrophobic interactions. We are optimizing the properties of adhesive moieties for specific microplastics to adsorb and developing substrates for optimizing micro plastic interaction in wastewater

Fruit fiber reuse

Ionic liquids as solvents for cellulose/ other reactive intermediates

We have several proposals in review to use ionic liquids as green solvents to extract cellulose for subsequent repreciptiation as fibers and mattes for other industrial uses. We are considering cultivation that generates a lot of waste including pineapple, coffee, and corn among others.

Contact Us

Brian Love, Depts of MSE and BME, The University of Michigan


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